Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Six years in the making, Car Wheels somehow lives up to its lofty expectations because of Williams's direct songwriting and her wonderfully unaffected vocals. With assistance from cohorts such as Steve Earle, Williams uses... more »
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998
Six years in the making, Car Wheels somehow lives up to its lofty expectations because of Williams's direct songwriting and her wonderfully unaffected vocals. With assistance from cohorts such as Steve Earle, Williams uses the acoustic accents of Dobros, mandolins, slide guitars, and accordions to add color to her grooves, whispers, and rumbles. Her lyrics are undisguised as she presents to us the travelogue of her memory. We can't wait for 2004! --Marc Greilsamer
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Member CD Reviews
Ken G. from BIRMINGHAM, AL
Reviewed on 12/14/2009...
I enjoyed the cd. It is typical Lucinda Williams.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Terrific, Evocative Music
Westley | Stuck in my head | 10/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lucinda William's "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" was released in 1998, her first record in six years. Her music is somewhat difficult to classify - part rock, part country, part Bonnie Raitt, with a dash of Louisiana. Many people identify Lucinda with the alt-country or "No Depression" group, which seems to fit as well as any label. I think she sounds like a more rock version of Mary-Chapin Carpenter.
Regardless of the label, her music is very good, and she wrote or co-wrote all but one of these songs (Randy Week's "Can't Let Go"). The music is obviously finely-tuned and done with care, with a nice mixture of easy-paced rockers and ballads. Perhaps the best selection is "Jackson" - an extraordinarily beautiful song about driving through the South and missing (or not missing?) a lover. "Lake Charles" is another interesting song, with a nice, under-stated zydeco feel and dobro guitar. Anyone who has lived in the deep south will be particularly likely to appreciate this CD, if not only for the frequent mentions of Southern towns, including Jackson, Macon, Lafayette, Rosedale, Greenville, Nacodoches, Baton Rouge, and Vicksburg. The CD is like a musical travelogue, with each song an evocative post card sent from Lucinda's soul.
When it was released, "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" was heralded with some of the best reviews of the year. Indeed, Lucinda even received a Grammy nomination for the CD - Rock Female Vocalist for "Can't Let Go;" sadly, she lost to Alanis Morissette's wailing "Uninvited." However, all of the acclaim perhaps set expectations too high for some listeners, as witnessed by some reviews here. I don't have any other Lucinda CDs, so I can't assert whether this CD is her best. Either way, however, you can't miss with this CD: filled with excellent music. And the cover photo is one of my all-time favorites! Most highly recommended.
Bayou Blues-Rock and Images of Lost Love
Eric Aronson | Boston, MA, USA | 02/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On this CD, Lucinda Williams continues the pattern of superb songwriting and fine arrangements she established with her 1992 masterpiece, SWEET OLD WORLD. That the follow-up CD took so long to complete bespeaks both the emotional struggles Williams draws from in her material and the sense of perfectionism she brings to her work. CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD is a steamy portrait of Williams' native Louisiana. It is lush with swampy images of small towns, which wind their way through moving songs of lost love, whether the mood is sad ("Jackson") or just plain disgusted ("Greenville"). Williams offers a travel guide to bayou country in "Lake Charles": an epitaph to a man who finally returns home in the freedom that death brings. She reveals her gutsy, bluesy side in "Can't Let Go" and the raw, angry swamp rock of "Joy". Some of her finest images of Southern squalor can be found in songs like the title track, "Car Wheels," "Metal Firecracker" and her tribute to blues legend Robert Johnson, "2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten". Perhaps the strongest songs musically are the hit-bound rocker "I Lost It" and the opening track, "Right In Time": a deep, erotic moan with a catchy, rocking chorus. The CD is propelled by the crisp rhythm section of drummer Donald Lindley and bassist John Ciambotti, with help from Williams' steadfast multi-instrumentalist, Gurf Morlix. The tight production is a collaboration between Williams and her band. Although Lucinda Williams' vocals may not be as well-developed as those of some of her contemporaries, her honest, poetic lyrics and authentic blues stylings make her one of today's most noteworthy singer-songwriters."